Another Poll Shows Santorum Third In Iowa

It’s Rasmussen, so the usual caveats apply, but it nonetheless seems to confirm that Iowa social conservatives may be coalescing around Rick Santorum as we get down to the final days of the race:

After months of volatility, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul remain the front-runners in Iowa for the third week in a row with the state’s Republican caucus just five days away.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP caucus participants finds Romney with 23% support to Paul’s 22%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum has moved into third place with 16%, his best showing to date, closely followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor Rick Perry who earn 13% of the vote each.

After that it’s Bachmann at 5% and Huntsman at 3%. Unlike the CNN poll from yesterday, this polls surveys likely caucus goers rather than just registered Republicans likely to attend to caucus so it’s potentially more reliable. We’ll get another poll tomorrow from NBC and Marist, so that should tell us if this Santorum thing is for real. Nonetheless, here’s where the race stands according to RCP’s polling chart:

A third place showing behind Romney and Paul would give Santorum reason to move on to South Carolina (there seems little point in anymore contesting New Hampshire at this point), but it’s hard to see where he goes from there. For Bachmann, Perry, and possibly even Gingrich, though, finishing behind a guy who had been languishing at 2-4% in the polls until now is going to be a body blow to say the least. Gingrich will continue on, most likely, but I would not at all be surprised to see Perry and Bachmann bow out of this thing the day after the caucuses.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. David says:

    How in the hell does he get that much support? I tried to say something intelligent about this, but out of all the candidates, he is the one I cannot have an intelligent discussion about.

  2. Gustopher says:

    They really don’t want Willard. A frothy surge of Santorum after a dalliance with Ron Paul.

    They’re running out of not-Romneys.

  3. mattb says:

    And here I was thinking that Santorum was #2 (in Iowa… and most other places)

  4. Bleev K says:

    Sharia law is coming in Iowa!

  5. JohnMcC says:

    South Carolina and Florida will be the next big steps for the candidates. (I assume that New Hampshire will not surprise us–but we know what happens when we ‘assume’, eh?)

    Will Mr Gingrich’s collapse in Iowa be a predicter of a similar melt-away in DIxie? And will southerners (of which I am one) find comfort with Santorum? Are there enough former-New-England voters in Florida to lift Mr Romney? I predict a ‘NO’ and a ‘NO’.

    More popcorn!

  6. PJ says:

    @David:

    How in the hell does he get that much support?

    My guess would be a combination of being the latest flavor of not-Romney and the religious right in Iowa.